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2002 Leaders Debate - Analysis

Television (Full Length Episode) – 2002

The TVNZ Leaders Debate for the 2002 General Election attracted controversy for its use of an onscreen graph, which tracked the response of 100 undecided voters in real time. There was concern that the device – aka 'The Worm', first launched in 1996 – would put a focus on populism and TV performance over policy. This post-debate analysis, with broadcaster Peter Williams hosting a panel of political commentators, includes a behind the scenes look at The Worm. Peter Dunne’s later success in the 2002 election was credited in part to his mastery of the line's rises and dips.

As for the worm, I think that's a total irrelevancy and has no place in intelligent discussion.
– Jim Bolger's infamous assessment of The Worm when it was first used in the 1996 election

Key Cast & Crew